Statement from Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester
I am grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his Encyclical Laudato Si, which calls for dialogue throughout the world on how we can be better stewards of the earth and, in so doing, be more responsive to the plight of the poor around the world. His call for an “integral ecology” to be lived out joyfully respects the dignity of each person, identifies a moral obligation to protect the environment, and promotes social justice by supporting responsible economic development with respect for all people and the earth.
What is most encouraging about this encyclical is that the Holy Father invites every person, including both people of faith and of no faith, to assume a role for themselves in addressing the future of the earth. The solution will come from small steps taken by everyone. There is no single or instant answer to the problem of the toxicity of many urban areas, or of the scarcity of resources in remote parts of the world, but an answer can be found by a world focused on the issue.
While it will take many months and even years to grasp fully the complex realities of Laudato Si, we can all begin to ponder the overarching question Pope Francis poses: What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? Beyond a question of environmentalism lies a more fundamental question for every person: what is the purpose of our life in this world? This question is a call to conversion which generates renewed hope for each person and for the world in which we were invited to “be fruitful and multiply.” May we all stand in awe of the beauty of the earth, an earth which is resplendent with the wonder of God the creator.
June 18, 2015
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